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Peel to begin vaccinating workers in COVID hotspots starting with Amazon, Maple Leaf Foods

Last Updated Apr 22, 2021 at 11:33 pm EDT

Amazon associate wearing mask while assembling packages inside facility. Amazon

Peel Region is taking its mass vaccination efforts directly to three major workplaces while expanding to reach more residents in COVID-19 hotspots.

On-site immunization clinics will be held at Amazon, Maple Leaf Foods, and Maple Lodge Farms as all three of these workplaces have suffered outbreaks in the past.

The initiative is jointly led by the province and Peel Public Health, who says these steps are necessary to help contain the spread; particularly for those working through the third wave.

“This is critical as Peel continues to have high COVID-19 cases and workplace exposures in Peel continue to be a major contributor to transmission observed in our community,” said the public health unit.

In mid-March, Amazon Canada was ordered to shut down its Heritage Road plant in Brampton because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Amazon responded by acknowledging the company was seeking a formal review after expressing concern that the closure would “impact our Canadian customers.”

RELATED: 1 dead among 25 employees infected with coronavirus at Maple Lodge Farms

Peel Public Health calls the step “an innovative public-private partnership and will be the first of its kind in Ontario,” adding that the lessons learned in this specific rollout will be shared directly with the province.

Employees at the workplaces will be contacted by their employer ahead of time.

This week, Peel Region and Toronto collectively announced they will shut down any workplaces with five or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 for at least 10 days.

Any affected employees must self-isolate and are not allowed to work at any other workplace until they recover from the virus.

“We are working in collaboration with over 150 organizations and over 20 community group working tables to roll out the Mass Vaccination Program and Hot Spot strategy within workplace and community sites,” said Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s Medical Officer of Health.

“These hot spot workplace and community pop-up clinics are a welcome addition to the variety of ways that we are delivering vaccines in arms. We thank the Province for their partnership and support and appreciate the willingness of these leading employers to partner with community agencies to support Peel’s hot spot strategy under the direction of public health.”

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says the Ford government supports these local employers “in their efforts to welcome on-site vaccination clinics that will protect their employees and the community.”

“Ontario is focused on getting vaccines to those most at risk and we are grateful for the partnership of these employers and Peel Public Health in helping make vaccines more accessible.”